A Smart Growth Olympics?

Chicago area boosters are touting their plan for a "compact games" as they bid for the 2016 Olympics.

"If Chicago planners get their way, Lake Michigan would provide a blue backdrop for most of the events of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Organizers of the city's bid to host the games said their plan will rise above competition because sporting venues and athlete housing are tightly clustered and conveniently located.

A $1 billion Olympic Village located near competition sites and the lakefront will make the games more enjoyable for athletes, said Chicago Olympic committee chairman Patrick Ryan."

Many events would be held within view of Lake Michigan, with others integrated into the city's neighborhoods, rather than in an isolated Olympic park.

'Nearly a third of the athletes will be within five minutes of their venues. And roughly 85 percent will be only 15 minutes away,' Ryan said."

Critics of the plan cite its heavy reliance on city parks, and worry the legacy of Chicago's Olmstead and Vaux designed public greens will be damaged.

Full Story: http://www.belleville.com/mld/belleville/news/state/15592290.htm

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